Dom Howson column: Who Owls should look to retain

Jacques Maghoma
Jacques Maghoma

Who should stay and who should go?

If 2014 is anything to go by, Wednesday will not mess around with their retained list. Just three days after their final-day defeat at Ipswich Town, the Owls released eight players, including Reda and Jermaine Johnson, as part of their end-of-season clear-out.

Thirteen members of Stuart Gray’s squad who have represented Wednesday during the 2014/15 campaign will be out of contract this summer. As Gray looks to reshape his side for a promotion push next term, here is my view on which players the head coach should look to keep and who should be allowed to move on to pastures new:

*Stay: Glenn Loovens, Jose Semedo, Chris Kirkland, Chris Maguire, Kamil Zayatte, Kieran Lee, Joe Mattock.

*Go: Jacques Maghoma, Lewis Buxton, Giles Coke, Rhys McCabe, Paul Corry, Gary Madine.

You need a good blend of youth and experience. Skipper Loovens and Semedo have made big contributions in Wednesday’s backline recording 19 clean sheets in all competition. The duo are big characters in the dressing room and the team, in recent months, have sorely missed their leadership qualities.

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Give us your views - Who would you keep, Owls fans?

Zayatte has proven a useful third-choice option at centre-back and Kirkland is a dependable back-up goalkeeper and will continue to help bring out the best in Keiren Westwood.

Maguire has probably not reached the heights of last season but has still netted six times. Not everything he tries comes off but the Owls should persevere with him while Lee has added goals to his all round performance, although he still needs to impose himself more on matches.

There is no disputing that Mattock’s form has dipped in the second half of the season. In my opinion, though, the left-back deserves to be offered a new deal, having shone in the team’s promising start.

He has acquitted himself well in the last two matches but it is likely to be the end of the road for Buxton. He has featured on just seven occasions this season and Wednesday have two other right-backs on their books in Liam Palmer and Marnick Vermijl.

It has not been a vintage year either for Maghoma. He has failed to register a league goal and perhaps a fresh challenge will reignite his career.

Competition for places is fierce in the middle of the park, meaning Corry, Coke and McCabe are unlikely to be kept on. Wednesdayites have probably seen the last of Madine too, given that Gray already has four strikers at his disposal.

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